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TOP-10 primary and secondary schools in Portugal where international students can get high-quality primary and secondary education

Education information

Today, Portugal attracts a wide range of foreign students from all over the world with high-quality educational services and interesting culture. Many international students choose studying in Portugal as it's a great opportunity to combine effective courses with exciting rest. SMAPSE offers TOP-10 prestigious primary and secondary schools located in Portugal where international students can get high-quality and balanced primary and secondary education.

Please, don't hesitate to contact SMAPSE experts as they are always ready to answer all your questions. 

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Advantages of studying in Portugal for international students

Traditional education system in Portugal involves studying English and Portuguese. This applies both to local residents and to foreign students from other countries. To ensure that secondary education in Portugal is affordable and convenient for foreign students, international language schools and centers offer programs with different levels of difficulty - from beginning to advanced. This gives foreign students an opportunity, after completing studying, to know two foreign languages well.

Studying in Portugal has several advantages:

  • Comfortable conditions for international students. Starting from the mild climate and ending with a friendly atmosphere in general - in Portugal everything has the potential to attract young people from different countries to study. Small distance between cities allows students to explore the country in their free time. The educational institutions themselves, whether it is a school, college or university, have an almost family atmosphere and you can always count on the support and participation of fellow students or teachers.
  • Loyalty for foreign students. So, for admission to the vast majority of educational institutions of the country, schoolchildren and young people do not need to provide a certificate of Portuguese proficiency. A foreign student can be accepted to a university even with an initial level of knowledge, but he must study the language on additional courses. 
  • Opportunities for building a career. Getting a secondary or higher education in Portugal allows students to learn additional foreign language besides English, which in the future is an excellent competitive advantage - command of Portuguese is highly valued in the international labour market.

Educational structure in Portugal

In general, secondary school education in Portugal begins from 5-6 years - pre-school education. Young students go on to the stage of primary education, which lasts 4 years. To receive basic secondary education in Portuguese schools, foreign students need to unlearn another 5 years after completing the initial stage.

7-9 grade

Students at 7-9 grades will have a fairly wide list of academic subjects to study:

1) Mandatory:

  • information and communication technologies
  • English language and literature
  • biology
  • physics
  • maths.

2) Additional

  • French
  • economics
  • English (as a second language)
  • Thai language
  • history
  • Spanish language
  • geography
  • chemistry
  • Chinese
  • graphic design
  • maths (optional)
  • drama art
  • Dutch Language
  • business management 
  • German
  • Portuguese
  • music
  • art
  • German
  • physics.

After successfully completing this course and passing exams, students receive a prestigious IGCSE diploma of incomplete secondary education, and can continue their studies at the IB and A-level programs, more complex and advanced.

Although the local education system is European, it is not obligatory to receive early specialization at the secondary level in Portugal - there is a higher secondary level for this, which not everyone chooses. It is a three-year course in one of the areas - general education, technology and professional.

Most populat programs for studying in Portugal for foreign students


Age of students



Summer camp


2 weeks

from 550 € / week

Language schools


from 1 to 12 weeks

from 500 € / week

Secondary education


1-12 years old

from 27800 €

University preparation


1 year

from 4500 € / year



3 years

from 999 € / year



2 years

from 1500 € / year

As for tuition fees, in Portugal prices are lower than in most European countries - rental housing, lunch in a cafe, the tuition itself and other expenses. Life in the capital will cost students about 500-800 € for one month - and this is the total cost for all items of expenses! Thus, studying in Portugal, even for a long period of time, will not hit the pocket very much, and investment in education will be effective and fruiful.

Learning programs-summary information

Name Meaning Equivalent Min. age Duration, 
Next stage Cost
GCSE General certificate of secondary education secondary education (non-accomplished) 14 1–2 A-Levels 15,000 USD+
A-Levels Advanced level secondary education (accomplished) 16 2 University 15,000 USD+
BTEC Business and Technology Education Board secondary special education 14 2–3 University/ work 15,000 USD+
Oxbridge Preparation Preparing for Oxford and Cambridge secondary education (accomplished) 17 1 University 15,000 USD+
International Baccalaureate International baccalaureate secondary education (accomplished) 16 2 University 18,000 USD+
Foundation/ Pathway Year Preparatory year admission to the 1st year of university 17 1 University 14,000 USD+
NCUK The Northern consortium 2 year university 17,5 1 2 year University of NCUK 13,000 USD+
Special Preparation (Medics/Math/Business) Specialized training - 14 optional optional 4,000 USD+
Academic English Academic English Language school 8 + 6–12 months School or University 8,000 USD+

Advantages and disadvantages of English schools

Advantages Disadvantages
The opportunity to enter the best universities in England, USA, Canada, Switzerland, Europe, the world Expensive
High quality of education and academic standards Strong workload
Perfect English after graduation The need to change the social environment; it takes time to adapt
Useful contacts The difficulty of choosing the most suitable school for the child, requires a qualified specialist
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